Ask a Question forum: natural homemade or store insect repellants

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Name: Angela
Olympia, WA (Zone 7b)
63Ariel
Mar 29, 2017 6:43 PM CST
I can write the list of what we are planting, but is there a general spray, or soil additive? I heard human hair repels deer? We are starting a community garden that is not yet fenced, surrounded by woods.
Thanks to everyone who have been so helpful : )
Name: Sandy B.
Ford River, Michigan UP (Zone 4b)
(Zone 4b-maybe 5a)
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Weedwhacker
Mar 29, 2017 8:02 PM CST
Welcome to NGA, Angela ( @63Ariel ).

In my experience, everything that is recommended for deterring deer (other than a very high fence) will work for a while because it's something "unusual" for them... and then they get used to it and it no longer works. That said, a double fence is supposed to work (because of a fear of being trapped in between the 2 fences), and in my own garden, even though we only have a 2-1/2-foot fence surrounding it we also have a lot of "structures" in the garden (big wooden tomato cages, a 7x15 hoop house, a 7x10 hoop trellis, an 8x16 greenhouse, and several 8-foot-high trellises around the perimeter), which do seem to work to keep the deer from getting in, other than late in the fall when most of the plants have been removed.

So, you might want to try using the human hair for a while, then switching to soap (Irish Spring is supposed to be good for this purpose), then switching to hanging old CDs around the garden... well, you get the idea.

Also, if you are in an area where it is sold, the fertilizer "Milorganite," spread around the perimeter of the garden, is supposed to help deter deer as well.

Good luck -- and happy gardening! Smiling
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Name: Daisy I
Reno, Nv (Zone 6b)
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DaisyI
Mar 29, 2017 8:13 PM CST
Deer are creatures of habit so if there has never been food in a spot, if you fence first and plant second, they won't get into the habit of browsing in your garden. They are much easier to keep out if they have never been in.
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Name: Adam
Broward County, FL (Zone 10a)
cadinkis
Mar 30, 2017 12:02 PM CST
John Kohler of Growing Your Greens on YouTube recommends a mixture of Neem Oil and Castille Liquid Soap with water to spray on the plants.

I haven't seen a bad bug problem with my plants, but I've used it anyway. It's natural, and apparently effective.
Name: Angela
Olympia, WA (Zone 7b)
63Ariel
Mar 31, 2017 11:13 AM CST
Weedwhacker said:Welcome to NGA, Angela ( @63Ariel ).

In my experience, everything that is recommended for deterring deer (other than a very high fence) will work for a while because it's something "unusual" for them... and then they get used to it and it no longer works. That said, a double fence is supposed to work (because of a fear of being trapped in between the 2 fences), and in my own garden, even though we only have a 2-1/2-foot fence surrounding it we also have a lot of "structures" in the garden (big wooden tomato cages, a 7x15 hoop house, a 7x10 hoop trellis, an 8x16 greenhouse, and several 8-foot-high trellises around the perimeter), which do seem to work to keep the deer from getting in, other than late in the fall when most of the plants have been removed.

So, you might want to try using the human hair for a while, then switching to soap (Irish Spring is supposed to be good for this purpose), then switching to hanging old CDs around the garden... well, you get the idea.

Also, if you are in an area where it is sold, the fertilizer "Milorganite," spread around the perimeter of the garden, is supposed to help deter deer as well.

Good luck -- and happy gardening! Smiling

Thank You!
It's a small plot 10x20' in a Community Garden. I haven't gardened close for 40 years and don't remember the details about the hair> do I just place hair on the dirt or hang it up ? Irish spring, put the bars out or place some shavings in a spray bottle? When I tried natural insect sprays in the 70's much of what I grew no longer was edible. Rolling on the floor laughing I'll email the owner with your information about a double fence. She inherited this recently land and I'm not sure how much she knows.
Thanks to everyone who have been so helpful : )
Name: Angela
Olympia, WA (Zone 7b)
63Ariel
Mar 31, 2017 11:18 AM CST
cadinkis said:John Kohler of Growing Your Greens on YouTube recommends a mixture of Neem Oil and Castille Liquid Soap with water to spray on the plants.

I haven't seen a bad bug problem with my plants, but I've used it anyway. It's natural, and apparently effective.


Thank You! Please give me the proportions as I don't want my kale to taste like soap. I had to dump all my greens last time. Since Neem comes from a plant would it taste be less noticeable?
Thanks to everyone who have been so helpful : )
Name: Karen
NM (Zone 7b)
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plantmanager
Mar 31, 2017 11:22 AM CST
@63Ariel, Irish spring soap can be shaved, and a bit enclosed in a square of cheesecloth closed with a string or rubber band. Hang these bags on fences and plant branches. They do seem to hate the smell. Renew them when all of the soap has dissolved from rains.
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Name: Sandy B.
Ford River, Michigan UP (Zone 4b)
(Zone 4b-maybe 5a)
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Sages Million Pollinator Garden Challenge Seed Starter Vegetable Grower
Greenhouse Region: United States of America Region: Michigan Enjoys or suffers cold winters Butterflies Birds
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Weedwhacker
Mar 31, 2017 8:48 PM CST
When I tried using the human hair (years ago), I did pretty much as Karen described for the soap and enclosed it in bags made from old pantyhose.

I think it's really great that someone inherited land and is using it for a "community garden!" Thumbs up Thumbs up
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